The first thing to know about weight loss and the dirty little secret that you’ll never see in an advertisement, is that not everything works the same for every body. I started my lifestyle change on October 3rd, 2008, and that’s exactly what it was. A lifestyle change. Not a diet, or a quick and easy plan to lose weight, but a complete overhaul about how I lived life. When I first started I could barely run a quarter of a mile before I felt like I was going to die. I began eating healthy as well. Gone were the days of fried and fattening foods. I ate lean protein and a lot of fruits and vegetables. Over time I was able to run a half-mile and even preferred ed the taste of carrots over chips. I started to cycle as well in order to increase my cardio endruance. Heart rate monitors can help with this greatly. I would get on my bike for about 30-45 minutes a night and keep my heart rate at around 155 beats per minute. After about 3 months I was running my first 5k and a month after that, the Crescent City Classic 10k.
As much as I’d like to say that once you lose the weight it gets easier, that’s just not true. For me, as well as many others, it’s a struggle every day. Every day I have to remind myself to watch what I eat and to stay away from things that would derail my goals. When my friends ask for help, I tell them that if they can change their routine and live healthy and exercise for 2 solid weeks, they’ll see results and want to keep it up. That first 2 weeks is hard. The key is to set realistic weight loss, and fitness goals, and to make plans that you can work around your career, family obligations, and life in general. If you have kids, and a 9-5 job, then setting a goal of losing 20 pounds in a month is probably not going to happen. But you can definitely lose 5-10 pounds in am month. By setting realistic small stepping-stone goals, and accomplishing them, you can gain momentum and the snowball effect will help you to reach your overall goals.
There will be set-backs, and holidays, and days when you don’t want to work out, or pig out, or go to Texas de Brazil and totally demolish your diet. Just like everything else in life, do not let these days get you down. Learn from every set back and allow it to make you stronger mentally so that you can come back stronger physically. The most important thing is to take that first step. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t start.